Working amidst the historically sacred and timeless landscape of the American West, Chris McCaw’s latest works in his Sunburn series reveal an intimate relationship with the primal nature of photography and an unprecedented interpretation of its usage. Each piece a necessarily unique work, these serene images transcend the established conception of the two dimensional photograph, embracing the physicality of light and inspiring awe and reverence.
Employing only the most basic elements of the medium: camera, lens and paper, McCaw documents a celestial and terrestrial landscape transformed by long exposures of the sun traversing the sky, scorching, and often burning its path completely through the photographic paper. The intense light further alters the image, paradoxically turning day into night. While recalling cosmic anomaly and prophetic revelation, each emotionally charged work remains a vivid graphic record of the rhythmic and potent forces of nature. The large-format Gelatin Silver Paper Negatives, each created in-camera, range in size from 8×10 inches to 20×24 inches.
Chris McCaw’s work has recently been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, SFMoMA, The Philadelphia Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. His photographs are in the collections of the George Eastman House Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Harry Ransom Center of Humanities at the University of Texas, and many corporate and private collections. He has received numerous awards, including an Alternative Exposure Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation. Born in Daly City, California, McCaw received his BFA from the Academy of Art, San Francisco. He currently lives and works in San Francisco.